Pennsylvania lost 41,000 jobs in February, a 13-year high

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Pennsylvania lost 41,000 jobs in February, the largest one-month span of job loss in the state in more than 13 years. According to media reports, about 1 in every 140 Pennsylvania jobs were lost in February, marking the worst drop-off in a single month since January 1996.

Since the recession began, Pennsylvanians have lost more than 100,000 jobs, leaving the state with less jobs than it had in July 2005, according to state figures.

Governor Ed Rendell announced state job loss figures Thursday.
Image: - Kevin Lee for State House 2008.

"It's clearly beginning to hit Pennsylvania in a way that it hasn't so far," Mark Price, labor economist with the Harrisburg-based Keystone Research Center, told the Associated Press. "Hopefully this is a blip, but we're going to definitely continue to lose jobs, hopefully not at this pace."

Governor Ed Rendell announced the numbers Thursday, the same day he called on Philadelphia-based oil refiner Sunoco to reverse its plans to cut 750 jobs, or about 20 percent of the salaried workforce.

Rendell said Sunoco should rescind the cuts because last year, the company made US$776 million in profit.

"In fact, although 2008 earnings were below expectations in the first two quarters, earnings in the last two quarters of 2008 were robust, to say the least," he said, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Sunoco officials said the move was a necessary response to a downturn in its oil-refining and chemical manufacturing businesses.


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